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Bayou City Music Series: The Soundtrack of the Gulf
September 15 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pmFree
The Bayou City Music Series resumes this fall with free performances at Discovery Green, Emancipation Park and The Water Works in Buffalo Bayou Park. The concert series, made possible by the Kinder Foundation, honors the great jazz, blues and zydeco musicians of Houston.
The fall series kicks off with “The Soundtrack of the Gulf” at The Water Works in Buffalo Bayou Park on Saturday, Sept. 15. The great zydeco accordionist C.J. Chenier—son of the “King of Zydeco” Clifton Chenier—headlines this concert, which features opening performances by vocalist Annika Chambers, an Iraq war veteran whose powerful voice blurs lines between jazz and blues, and Archie Bell, former lead singer of Archie Bell & The Drells, whose early funk single “Tighten Up” topped Billboard’s R&B and pop charts in 1968.
On Saturday, Oct. 13, the series continues with “Jazz in the Tre” at Emancipation Park. Acclaimed jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran headlines this concert. Moran, who grew up in Houston’s Third Ward, is Artistic Director for Jazz at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and a 2010 MacArthur Fellow. Students from the jazz program at Moran’s alma mater, the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA), will open, along with Horace Grigsby, a legendary Houston jazz vocalist who performs in the style of Billy Erskine and Nat Cole.
The series closes with an ode to “Houston Blues, Jazz and Soul” at Discovery Green on Saturday, Nov. 10. Houston native James Francies headlines this closing performance. At just 22 years old, Francies is considered one of the premiere pianists of his generation; he has already played alongside numerous jazz greats and frequently appears with the Roots on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. He will perform music from his in-progress debut album for the legendary Blue Note Record Label. Opening for Francies is singer-songwriter Diunna Greenleaf, an internationally recognized powerhouse vocalist who learned gospel and blues from her father.